Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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What have you got in this bag?.. concrete or something!?

Henry Rockliff, Tommy Moore, Mark R
10thJuly 2014

Tonight I met the water guru Henry and his SUSS helper Tommy Moore at the farm at around 6. I mentally tossed a coin and decided that I would take the 20kg bag of post-crete underground and palm the drill off to Tommy. Henry had come prepared with a selection of tools and bits of pipe for the dam making.

The trip was fairly painless, despite the hefty Petzl Transporter bag full of cement and we arrived at the bottom of two left wellies and set up for the damming. The first job was to clean off the rock where we would be making the new concrete dam. This didn’t take long, there was an ideal scoop in the rock ledge just before the water flows off the edge of The Milky Relief. Henry and Tommy set about digging a temporary dam in the sandy floor at the foot of the pitch and feedinga pipe through the boulder pile through which we could set up a siphon and take the water away from the dam building area.

The siphon took quite a bit of getting right. There was very little water falling down the pitches and the pipe we were using, once siphoning was far too fast. Eventually we tied the end up at just the right height to maintain a siphon at the correct speed and the rock ledge dried out sufficiently to get started.

Henry and Tommy mixed the post-crete in small batches in a little Darren drum and passed it down to me to lovingly craft into a little wall. I set two pipes into the dam wall onto which we can connect our layflat to take the water away from the pitch head and ultimately away from the sump. After an hour or so the dam was finished and the rock around it scrubbed clean. It doesn’t look too obtrusive, in fact little Chris caved right past it on Saturday without even noticing.

We raced out to try and make the pub but failed miserably, arriving at the Wanted car park just as the curtains were being drawn and the door shut! Never mind.

I went to see Nick Williams on Monday night who has very kindly furnished us with three hand pumps which look absolutely ideal for the job and also a 24v submersible and three batteries. Whilst there I took the opportunity of replenishing our capping supplies too.

So now I think we have all the kit we need. I have to get a few hoses sorted and make some fittings for the pumps, get them bolted to the wall properly and connect up the concrete dam to get the water diverted then we are ready for a big pumping weekend.. I can’t wait!

Many thanks to Henry, Tommy and Nick for the help.

Mark R